Discrete Objects with Maximum Possible Symmetry
Marston Conder, New Zealand Institute of Mathematics & its Applications
Location: Stevenson 5211
Symmetry is pervasive in both nature and human culture. The notion of chirality (or `handedness') is similarly pervasive, but less well understood. In this lecture, I will talk about a number of situations involving discrete objects that have maximum possible symmetry in their class, or maximum possible rotational symmetry while being chiral. Examples include geometric solids, combinatorial graphs (networks), maps on surfaces, dessins d'enfants, abstract polytopes, and even compact Riemann surfaces (from a certain perspective). I will describe some recent discoveries about such objects with maximum symmetry, illustrated by pictures as much as possible. Tea at 3:30 pm in SC 1425.